3.25.2014

Striving For Perfection

After stripping the tub surround and repairing the walls, I moved on to the sink. 
For the sink, I was able to completely remove the fixtures, which made this refinishing job much easier. Like with the tub, I taped and sealed off the porcelain with a plastic bag.

Because the sink is used daily, it was in worse shape than the tub surround. Around the fixtures, where the exposure to water was the most frequent, some of the finish was completely gone. There were water stains in the wood as a result plus there were a bunch of dings too. 

This one ding was really deep. For sure too deep to sand out. Teak is tricky to refinish because its color changes with sanding.  The wood naturally darkens when it is exposed to UVs, so sanding exposes lighter wood which can make the finish look splotchy.


Steaming a ding is one way to handle this. When you steam wood in raises the pulp. It's pretty effective, but obviously you can only do this if you don't have a finish on it and if the ding isn't a massive crater.  I usually do this in two stages. Steam, let dry completely, sand and then steam again then sand. In this case, I couldn't sand too much without altering the shade of the wood. Simply soak a cotton rag then go at it with an iron set to highest setting.


This guy got significantly better but not completely gone. So next up was filling it with tinted epoxy.

Tinted epoxy is my first choice for filling dings in furniture.  Epoxy  can be tinted with the dust from sanding, ensuring a perfect match, plus epoxy has a very hard, closed finish vs. wood filler which always looks a little pulpy to me. 


I use a two part quick setting epoxy (10 minute is good) so I have enough time to mix and fill without being crazed but also so I don't have to wait like 25 minutes for it to set up. There is nothing worse than having your epoxy set up before you are finished so don't use one or five minute epoxy. I always measure out the two parts in separate blobs for accuracy and to prevent from cross contaminating the tubes and ruining them.

Mix the two parts together, then add sawdust, and fill.  Fill enough to let the epoxy settle bearing in mind that whatever excess hardens needs to be sanded away. Do yourself a favor and wear gloves and clean your knife before the epoxy kicks. 

Filled.

Sanded.

Varnished. Whereas this isn't completely invisible it is, as we used to say when I was working in furniture restoration, "perfect enough".

That's enough for now. I'll touch briefly on the varnishing process in another post. 

1 comment:

Caroline Nolazco said...

What a big difference! I've never seen either of those methods but they really seem to work. Pocketing it for future use. I know I would've taken a sand block to it only to be dismayed

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